Alien vs Predator posterAlien Vs. Predator (2004)

Starring: Sanaa Lathan, Raoul Bova, et al.
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

Opening Date: August 13, 2004

It's the biggest cinematic face-off since Freddy vs. Jason and . . . uhm, that's just the problem. Is there anyone out there who can still remember anything from that 2003 movie besides the fact that one of the teenaged female stars probably had cute boobies?

Still, making Alien vs. Predator is a no-brainer for 20th Century Fox since it teams up two of that studio's most lucrative sci-fi franchises, the idea first being mentioned in Predator 2 which had a so-called ?predator? dry-cleaning the skull of an alien (from the Alien movies). The concept was further exploited in a Dark Horse comic book series and a best-selling computer game. The trailer already has geeks across the globe drooling in anticipation.

The only surprising thing about the whole affair is that it took Fox so long to get their act together to bring the franchise full circle back to its roots as a blockbuster movie. Then again, the Alien franchise stalled after the disappointment (financially and artistically) of the 1997 (!) Alien Resurrection. The Predator movie franchise (itself a rip-off of the original Alien movie when you think about it) also never got further than the 1987 original starring the current governor of California and the 1990 sequel starring Mel Gibson's Lethal Weapon ?too old for this sh*t!@#? partner Danny Glover.

With the huge popularity of the computer game it comes as no surprise that Fox is getting a director best-known for movies based on computer games (Paul W.S. Anderson of Mortal Kombat and Resident Evil ?fame?).

And there lies the problem: Anderson isn't a particularly good or original director (he also directed the haunted spaceship flick Event Horizon) and there's a cast of complete unknowns. (Alas, there?s no Sigourney Weaver in sight.) Anderson will no doubt pull off a workman-like effort, but it will probably be a case of one exiting the cinema saying that the movie was simply okay instead of going gosh! wow!

But that has been the case with most of this summer's blockbusters so far: mediocre mega-budget special effects blockbusters such as The Day After Tomorrow and Van Helsing. Perhaps by August (when the film is released in the States) audiences will be tired of yet another such a special effects-driven vehicle. Or they might prove to be incurable optimists . . . who knows? Fox is no doubt betting on the latter.


Plot Summary for Alien Vs. Predator (2004)

Set in the early 21st century on Earth, Charles Weyland, an industrialist billionaire, leads an archaeological expedition in Antarctica. Using thermal imaging satellites, Weyland believes to have discovered the ruins of an ancient pyramid temple that predates the Egyptian and Aztec pyramids buried under the ice. Once inside, the team finds the remains of humans with holes in the rib cage and the remains of face huggers, meaning that the possibility of the temple being uninhabited is very unlikely. To make matters worse, five teenage Predators are coming to the temple to perform a coming-of-age ritual that involves fighting to the death with the aliens. Soon, it becomes clear that only one species is getting out alive.

Alien vs Predator posterTrivia about Alien Vs. Predator:

  • Paul W.S. Anderson stepped down from directing both Mortal Kombat: Domination (2004) and Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) to write and direct this film, though he does remain as producer to the other movies.
  • Was rumored to be in development ever since a skull from the title characters in the Alien film series appeared in the spaceship trophy room in Predator 2 (1990).
  • Based on a concept introduced by the Dark Horse comic series of the same title.
  • The character played by Lance Henriksen, Charles Bishop Weyland, Is a co-founder of the Weyland Yutani Corporation. This is "the company" referred to in the earlier "Alien" movies. The Bishop Android from Aliens, and Bishop II from Alien 3 were also played by Lance Henriksen.
  • The Alien Vs. Predator story crossed over virtually all forms of media before becoming a feature film. There was a successful comic book series, toy line, multiple video games, sound track (of the PC game) and even a card series.
  • The role of Max Stafford was written specifically for Colin Salmon
  • Screenwriter Peter Briggs wrote his original spec script for Alien vs. Predator in 1991. The script sold overnight and made him the subject of numerous magazine and book "success story" articles. His version went adrift following studio politics in the wake of executive Joe Roth's departure from 20th Century Fox.
  • At one stage Peter Weller was attached to star.





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